Monday, 3 August 2009

Winning Lotto, The Easy Way.

Noises.  In the kitchen.  So I'm only half listening to the TV, while some dimbulb reporter is facing the camera and trying to impress with wiggling eyebrows and wide open eyes that they are a goddamn statistical specialist dammit and - hang on.  Did she just really say that?  Replay that in my mind, and yes she did.  "The odds of winning Lotto are 54 million to one."

We are a nation of some 22 million people.  Of those, you can discount at least a third, either they are kids or in nursing homes, or they live out beyond Black Stump, or their religion doesn't permit gambling, or they're just skeptical of games of "luck and chance" in general.  The point is that the most number of people that will be playing any particular Lotto game will be 15 million.  Or less, maybe down to 10 million.

So if the statisticians are right, that means that the Lotto should by rights jackpot for four weeks at a time.  because if only one in 54,000,000 people wins Lotto, and 15,000,000 people in total are playing, that means the chance of one or several winners each week is1 in 3.6 at the very best rate of people playing.  If there are fewer players than my back of the napkin guesses indicate, then the winner rate should drop to as rare as 1 in 6.

Does Lotto in fact jackpot for 4 to 6 weeks every time?  I don't have figures to hand but I am guessing not.  Say ten million people play, that's one hundred million dollars worth of tickets, a one in six chance that the prize will go off, so at the end of six weeks of minor prizes only there will have been six hundred million dollars paid into Lotto.

But in fact I think the prize goes off more often than that statistic would indicate it should, so that brings me to another interesting observation:

One in twenty million people wins a major prize in Lotto.  There.  In one fell swoop, I've doubled your chances of winning.  And now that I've put you in there with a chance, I'll go out on a limb and say that I can probably improve your chances of winning Lotto even more - by an amazingly huge factor.

See, there are only two outcomes - either you win a prize or you don't.  So in fact your chances of winning a prize in Lotto are one in two, 50/50.  Now go out there and when you win, remember me and my Paypal link! %)

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